Lemon Laws have been around a long time and most of us have a general understanding of them but your states Lemon Law may be a lemon. If you ask most people what the Lemon Law is, they will generally say that it allows you to return or exchange a purchased item within a certain amount of days. Hold on my friends. Its not always that simple.
For example, in South Carolina, the Lemon Law only applies to certain vehicles. Most people believe that it applies to any car but thats not the case in South Carolina where the Lemon Law only applies to new cars. This is bad news for people that purchase used cars, which are known for having problems. But even with a new vehicle in South Carolina its not always as simple as saying, This car is a lemon, I dont want it. Give me my money back.
The Lemon Law in South Carolina requires you to meet certain criteria for the law to take effect. There are three criteria that have to be met for the law to take effect. The first of which is the car has to be deemed to have a defect. The consumer and the dealer have to agree that the car has a problem with a part, manufacturing flaw or problem operating as it should. Secondly, the dealer has to be given three attempts to fix the problem. Third, if the three attempts to fix the defect fail, the buyer has to enter arbitration before a refund or exchange is CONSIDERED. Even after all of the criteria are met it could come down to the seller acting in good faith. You could be stuck with a very expensive lemon
Many consumers also think a 3-day Cooling Off period is applicable when it comes to buying a car. Thats not true. There is a cooling off law but it doesnt apply to everything you purchase. The 3-day Cooling Off period is a federal law. According to the Federal Trade Commission, the Cooling Off Rule ‘ only applies to sales at the buyer’s home, workplace or dormitory, or at facilities rented by the seller on a temporary or short-term basis, such as hotel or motel rooms, convention centers, fairgrounds and restaurants.’ But it does not apply to automobile purchases, and items you buy in a store.
The best advice for used car buyers is to do some research before you buy a used car. You could have a mechanic check out a car before you buy it. You can also check out the car dealers reputation by checking with the Better Business Bureau. Ask the dealer if they have a Carfax Report on the vehicle you’re interested in or get one online from Carfax.com yourself. Carfax reports are usually reliable information about a cars history. It can tell you how many people have owned the vehicle and how many reported accidents the vehicle has had. Regardless, the Lemon Law won’t help you with problems with a used car. New car buyers need to check the Lemon Law in your state. Your Lemon Law may be a lemon and you could get stuck with a very expensive lemon.